Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Eve

...Began at 9 AM, at which point I determined that, even though I had awakened naturally, I had experienced too little and too shallow a sleep. So I returned to that state for two hours.

Finally really awake, I smelled bread baking upstairs. (Mom got up at 6:30!) So I checked my email and got started.

Today I made two skirts, a pink and green one with cream embroidered flowers and an exciting ruffle - and another made from off-white plush blankets, very warm. I'm delighted, because I've been in need of nice warm skirts here in Colorado, let alone if I ever move somewhere more frigid!

In the middle of all the sewing and pinning and cutting I finally took time to tap out Christmas songs from the hymnal on my piano, one of my favorite holiday habits. My little sisters sang along.

On the radio near my sewing machine was Hugh Hewitt interviewing a theologian and historian, who was giving the history of Christmas carols as a Christmas habit. The man, a Mr. Roberts, also said that Christmas as we know it (a celebration lasting one to two days involving friends, family and charity) was invented by Charles Dickens, who used his writing to advocate the holiday. In light of the Shadowlands quote from my post earlier this week, that if charity is alone, the magic is removed from Christmas, I wonder if CS Lewis was a fan of Dickens. Chesterton was; in fact, I prefer his accounts of Charles Dickens' novels to the books themselves and any movie versions.

When the skirts were completed, I made chocolate cheesecake filling to try with cinnamon rolls tomorrow. It's an interesting thought; I'm curious, so I'm going to try it. (My version of chocolate cheesecake involves no baking: cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, shortening and cool whip!)

Afterwards, my family went driving to our favorite Christmas light spots, two in particular. A man from our church is on his 29th year of filling his yard with lights, electronic decorations, and trains. As you approach his light-flooded driveway, he offers hot chocolate (very necessary in such weather). Then you proceed beneath a lighted archway to the back yard, a train following you on its course around the house. In the back are dozens of moving elves, Santas, Snoopy's, Winnie the Pooh, gingerbread men, and even nutcrackers. By the time you've seen everything, you're freezing, waving and thanking the host hurriedly so you can get back to your heated car.

The other light spot is a house with its own radio station, playing a series of songs to which the light display has been synchronized. There is usually Snoopy, Frosty, O Holy Night, and something patriotic. This year was a little more techno than usual, so we didn't stay as long (nothing specifically against techno; we just don't like it).

Back home my sisters and I went down to the basement to watch my Christmas Eve traditional movie, Little Women. "Change will come as surely as the seasons," Jo says. So it does.

The other adventure for the day was my brother, who worked this morning and hit his head, causing a 3 inch gash which he didn't realize was so serious. He wiped it with his glove and put his hat back on. But my mom and dad thought it was more serious than he did, so when he got home hours later, they made him call the doctor. Doctor said to come in. He got stitches and is on the thrilling cycle of ice about ten minutes each hour all night long.

Change happens, but some things stay the same. That's what I remember at Christmas. I'm very excited for Christmas morning. We trade names for gifts in my family, and our spending limit is smaller this year, but it has worked out so that people are actually getting more presents (though not as big or valuable). We'll be around the tree all morning!

Tonight I read RC Sproul, Jr.'s Kingdom Notes, mentioning Advent once again, and how it is both memory and anticipation. We celebrate two comings: 2,000 years ago and the return of our Lord. I'm so glad He's coming back.

Merry Christmas!

To God be all glory.

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